Lancashire Minds – Coping with Loss and Grief
When things change in our lives, sometimes it can be very difficult to cope with.
This is especially true when change has caused us to lose things we previously had. Coronavirus has caused all of us to experience loss of some sort.
Even if we have been fortunate enough not to lose someone close to us, dealing with any kind of loss can be difficult.
If you can’t speak to someone you know or if doing so has not helped, try out some resources available at Lancashire Minds website.
Children and Young People – What is loss, and how can it make us feel?
Loss can vary in how extreme it feels, but it is completely normal to feel sad about losing all kinds of things, even if what you have lost is not the same as what others have lost.
It’s important not to feel guilty about this. Coronavirus has caused all of us to experience loss of some sort. This may include:
- Loss of routine
- Social activities
- Exams and school
- Time with extended family
- Celebrations and ceremonies
- Loss of loved ones
As an example write down some of your feelings, describe how you are feeling.
Bereavement and grief
Whilst we are all feeling loss for lots of things right now, some of us may also have experience the death of someone important to us.
The emotional process we go through after losing someone close to us is called grief. This can be very different for everyone but could include feelings of:
- Shock and panic
- Sadness and depression
- Anger and fearful
It is important to remember that there is no right or wrong way to cope with losing someone.
While coronavirus might have temprarily changed the way we look after ourselves, it is more important than ever that we still make the time to do so.
It can be difficult to find the energy bu think about what makes you feel good and try to build it into your daily routine.
Some key ways to support yourself right now are:
- Be patient with yourself – The situation that we are in is very unusual, remember that it is ok to feel the way you are, give yourself some time to get used to changes.
- Seek support – Keep talking to the people around you about how you are feeling, ask a family member or friend to talk, or speak to a teacher if you need more support.
- Look after your wellbeing – Make time to look after yourself, the Lancashire Mind website has tips and resources on how to look after yourself.
You may find some of the suggestions and tools that we shared useful but there is lots of other support and information available for young people who are grieving from other agencies and services:
- Hope Again
- Child Bereavement UK
- Grief Encounter
- Blue Cross for Pets
- Cruse Bereavement Care
- The Compassionate Friends
- BEAD Project
- Dying Matters
The Good Grief Trust
The Good Grief Trust has a useful page for young people who are grieving.
It has videos and blogs where others have shared their experiences of grief, it has guidance on what might help in this tme and advice on where you can get help if you need more support.
Young Minds shares ideas on how to communicate and work through your grief as well as advice on how to support a friend who has lost someone.
Coping with Loss and Grief
While we are all feeling loss for lots of things right now, some of us may also have experienced bereavement after losing someone important to us.
The process we go through following this is grief, which is char-acterised by a range of emotions experienced as we adjust to the loss.
“The pain doesn’t vanish and weshouldn’t have to hide it, especially from those closest to us.”
While grief is completely individual and unique, the ‘grief cycle’ outlines some stages of grief that might be experienced.
These do not always appear in the same order for everybody, and it’s common for individuals to move backwards and forwards between stages.
During a time where so many things are different, bereavement may feel even more difficult to cope with than usual.
Coping strategies may change, but it remains as important as ever to seek support from those around you.
The Grief Cycle
- Denial – shock, disbelief, panic or confusion – “it can’t be true”.
- Anger – hostility, blaming yourself and others – “this isnt fair”.
- Depression – feeling tired, hopeless or helpless.
- Bargaining – feeling of guilt – “if only I had been….”.
- Acceptance – acknowledging the loss and being prepared to move forward.
Supporting others during this time
Reach out to your friends and family members to ask them how they are doing.
While we may not be able to physically meet, the beauty of technology allows us to remain connected.
You can refer to our guide on ‘talking about mental health’ for tips on starting a conversation.
- How can I help bereaved pupils when the schools are closed?
- Child Bereavement UK – Information for education professionals supporting pupils during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
“The best things that friends and family can do is simply listen. They often don’t need to say anything, just being willing to listen to your problems makes you feel less alone and isolated”
Mind.org provide information on bereavement, where to go for support, and suggestions for helping yourself and others through grief.
Links to helpful information and resources
- GOV.UK – Guidance for the public on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus (Covid-19)
- GOV.UK – Guidance on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing (Covid-19)
- NHS – latest information and advice about the coronavirus (Covid-19)
- NHS – Children and young people’s services
- Every mind matters – looking after your mental health
Lancashire Mind Resources
Other Mental Health Resources
- Mind.org – Information for young people
- Mental Health.org – Looking after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak
- Anxiety UK – Health and other forms of anxiety and coronavirus
- Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria – Information for children and young people
- Young Minds – Coronavirus and mental Health
Other Coronavirus Resources for Parents and Carers of Young People
- Nurse Dotty Books – Dave the dog is worried about Coronavirus
- Zero to three – tips for families during coronavirus
- Life – How to talk to kids about coronavirus pandemic
- Young Minds – What to do if you’re anxious about coronavirus
- Student Minds – Coronavirus Resource Hub
Crisis Help and Helplines
If the person is in a crisis and in need of medical attention, you should call 999 and ask for an ambulance to take them to Accident and Emergency (A and E).
If the person is a presenting as a danger to themselves or members of the public you should contact the Police on 999.
Samaritans on free phone 116 123 (open 24 hours a day every day of the year)